Saturday, January 02, 2010

Clos La Coutale 2007 $12.99

Happy New Year Wine Forum readers! To kick off 2010 we start with a value wine of a grape that you all know, but from a region many do not – Malbec from Cahors.

Malbec the world over is synonymous with wine from Argentina. It is the backbone of the Argentine wine industry, and the main component of the majority of the red wine that sets sail from this Southern Hemisphere wine region. There are a few examples of great, and expensive, Malbec wines from Argentina, but little people know that this grape’s origins lie in a little know region south and east of Bordeaux called Cahors (pronounced Kah-OHR). Cahor had fallen off the map literally from a wine perspective for quite some time. In the 18th century Bordeaux had eclipsed Cahors and left it in the dust. Only 50 years ago had attention start to come back to this once regarded region that made the “black wines of Cahors”. The wines are similar to Bordeaux in that they are blended with Merlot, but neither Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc are allowed to be planted in Cahors. Appellation rules state that the wines from Cahors must be composed of at least 70% Malbec.

After some quick looks this wine is widely available at many good wine shops, just try In your average wine shop that deals with quality wines, you may find 2-3 Cahors at most. They are not as popular as Malbec, but if you like Malbec from Argentina, I think you will be quite happy with its French ancestor, especially the Clos la Coutale. It's probably the finest Cahors I have had under $20.

Tasting Note

Color: Dark center with purple red edges

Nose & Palate: Rose petals, some iron and earth, blackberry, great fruit depth, ample acidity and wonderfully fine grained tannins. A touch of dusty lilacs and roasted herbs taper off with the finish. Easy drinking and complex enough to keep you interested. This is Malbec with a Franco soul!



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